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Innovation Awards Finalists 2023

JEC World

Lightweight Booms for Agricultural Sprayers


BK COMPONENTS S.A. (Argentina)

Partners(s): BCK ID SRL, Argentina - CAIMAN SRL, Argentina - KOHLENIA SRL, Argentina

A modular concept of sprayer boom with intelligent use of composites and manufacturing processes, to provide a scalable, cost efficient and environmentally friendly solution for agriculture.

The composite materials and their manufacturing processes used for the boom are specially selected and developed, aiming for a scalable, cost efficient and environmentally friendly product. The carbon fiber tubes are made by wet filament winding for a high level of automation, the maximum integration in the value chain, and to avoid the higher costs and drawbacks associated to the logistics of prepregs.

The high specific mechanical properties and the possibility to tailor the orientation of the fibers, make of carbon composites the best choice to gain working width for the main tubes of the structure, where the load paths can be easily predicted. On the other hand, the concentrated loads and more complex stress states present in the nodes, make them better suited for isotropic materials. The tubes are adhesive bonded to the nodes, ensuring a uniform and effective load transfer between the parts.

In this direction, modular attachments for auxiliary equipment and secondary structural members such as pillars and tensors are made by recycling of the uncured scrap material of the filament winding process. The wet fibers that are removed from the mandrel with the pin rings are chopped to a determined length and mixed with fresh resin to form a sort of bulk compound, which is introduced and pressed inside the mold with threaded metallic inserts fixed in position. The molded attachments are finally bonded and wound to the carbon tubes in the position where needed. As a result, the compression-molded composite part is 80% cheaper than its aluminum counterpart and there is a reduction of 66% of the industrial waste.

Key benefits

  • Longer working span boosts productivity
  • Reduced weight and better dynamic response of the spraying booms
  • Reduced environmental impact (less fuel/scrap recycling/spot spraying systems)
  • Easy repairability thanks to adhesive bonding of the repair kit
  • Vertical integration and high automatization of production processes

BK Components

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